All 5 Broncs Alive After Day One
NCAA Wrestling Championships Day One
All 5 Broncs Alive in Consolations
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—The Rider Broncs won six of 11 bouts on the first day of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Thursday, held at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. All five Broncs are alive in the consolation rounds Friday.
“All five in on the second day is a good sign in the national tournament,” said Rider head coach Gary Taylor. “They are wrestling hard and I have no complaints. Everybody is giving it everything they’ve got and we lost some close matches that are hard to take but this is the best in the nation going at it.”
The third session begins at 11am Eastern Friday. All matches can be seen on ESPN3 and ESPNU.
Sophomore Conor Brennan (Brick, NJ/Brick Twp.), the EWL Champion at 174, will now face Bryce Hammond of Cal State Bakersfield in consolations Friday morning.
Brennan lost 14-5 to the third seed, Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the Championship second round Thursday night. “Kokesh is one of the best in the country,” Taylor said. “Conor wrestled hard in that match and I’m very pleased with how he wrestled.”
Brennan defeated the 14th seed, Mark Martin of Ohio State, 7-2 in the first round. “That was nice,” Taylor said. “He did a really nice job. He had one of his patterned head locks and caught the kid really nice with it.”
Martin is a two-time NCAA Qualifier and placed seventh at the Big 10 Championships this year. Martin has 27 wins this season.
Brennan (27-8) began the season at 157 pounds but was forced to move up two weight classes due to injuries on the Rider squad.
Rider sophomore Robert Deutsch (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional), the 11th seed at 125, will now face Nick Roberts of Ohio State in the consolation round Friday morning.
Deutsch lost 2-1 on riding time to the sixth seed, Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma Thursday evening in the Championship second round. It was his first loss in his last 20 matches. “By six seconds,” Taylor said. “If we ride him for six seconds we go into overtime and Rob is very tough in overtime.”
Deutsch defeated Cory Stainbrook of West Virginia 2-1 in the first round. Stainbrook finished third at the Big 12 Championships and is 24-14.
Deutsch (31-5) was the Eastern Wrestling League Champion this season.
Junior Clint Morrison (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cedar Cliff) will now take on #14 John Rizqallah of Michigan State in consolations Friday morning.
Morrison pinned Jonathan Fausay of Virginia in 6:59 in consolations. “He had to come from behind and he did it,” Taylor said.
Morrison lost 5-4 on riding time to the fourth seed, Max Thomusseit of Pittsburgh. “That was a tough first match for Clint,” Taylor said. “He lost by six seconds to the number four seed but he wrestled very tough in that match.”
Morrison (19-5) finished third at the EWL Championships. Thomusseit is a three-time NCAA Qualifier and has a record of 17-1, finishing runner-up at the ACC Championship.
Rider senior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville) will wrestle the seventh seed Pierce Hager of Northwestern Friday morning. Santiago pinned Jacob Kemerer of Lock Haven in 5:57 in consolations. Santiago defeated Kemerer 10-7 earlier this season. “He caught him nice at the edge of the mat,” Taylor said. “It is always nice to get pins at national tournaments because you get more (team) points.”
Santiago was pinned in 2:31 by the eighth seed, Michael Moreno of Iowa State in the first round. “He got pinned by a returning All-American,” Taylor said. “He was a big, tough kid who has had a good year.”
Santiago won 7-0 in the pigtail round over Mitchell Wightman of Boston University. An EWL Champion, Santiago (22-13) has now defeated Wightman all four times they have faced each other, including an 8-2 decision earlier this season.
Junior 133 Chuck Zeisloft (Woodbury Heights, N.J./Gateway) will now face #12 Joe Roth of Central Michigan Friday morning. Zeisloft won 10-4 in the consolations over Greg Rinker of the Air Force Thursday night. “That was Chuck’s first win at a national tournament,” Taylor said, “so that was an important win for him.”
Zeisloft lost 5-2 to the 11th seed, Ryan Mango of Stanford in the first round. Zeisloft (24-15) finished third at the EWL Championships.
Rider sent four wrestlers to Nationals last year, two in 2012, three in 2011 and six in 2010. Rider sent four wrestlers to Nationals in 2009 and came home with its 13th All-American. In 1996 Rider sent a program-best nine wrestlers to Nationals and in 1997 came home with three All-Americans.